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1. Ma.

Teresa Biaco vs Philippine Countryside Rural Bank his case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by
his opponent, as by keeping him away from court, a false
In rem vs In personam proceedings – Service of Summons promise of a compromise; or where the defendant never had
Ernesto Biaco, husband of Teresa Biaco, acquired several loans knowledge of the suit, being kept in ignorance by the acts of
from Philippine Countryside Rural Bank (PCRB) from 1996 to the plaintiff; or where an attorney fraudulently or without
1998. To secure the loans, he mortgaged certain property in authority assumes to represent a party and connives at his
favor of the bank. He was able to pay loans from 1996 to 1997 defeat; or where the attorney regularly employed corruptly sells
but he defaulted in loans obtained in 1998 which amounted to out his client’s interest to the other side. The above is not
more than a million pesos. applicable in the case of Teresa. It was not PCRB which made
any fraud. It should be noted that spouses Biaco were co-
Eventually, PCRB filed a complaint for foreclosure against the defendants in the case and shared the same interest.
spouses Biaco. Summons were issued by the trial judge. The
Sherriff served the summons to Ernesto at the latter’s office. No
summons was served to Teresa.
2. Valmonte v. CA
Ernesto did not file a responsive pleading (so did Teresa
because she was not aware sans the summons being served G.R. No. 108538 January 22, 1996
Ponente: Mendoza, J.:
her). The case was heard ex-parte and the spouses were
ordered to satisfy the debt and failure to do so will authorize the
Sheriff to auction the mortgaged the property. Service of Summons

Eventually, the mortgaged property was auctioned for P150k Facts:


which is not sufficient to cover the P1 M+ debt. Upon motion by
PCRB, a notice of levy was issued against the personal  Petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte is a foreign resident.
properties of Teresa to satisfy the deficiency. Petitioners Lourdes and Alfredo are husband and wife both
residents of 90222 Carkeek Drive South Seattle,
It was only at this point that Teresa learned of the previous ex
Washington, U.S.A. Petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte, who is
parte proceedings. She then sought to have the judgment
a member of the Philippine bar, however, practices his
annulled as she now claims that she was deprived of due
profession in the Philippines, commuting for this purpose
process when she did not receive summons; that it was only her
between his residence in the state of Washington and
husband who received the summons; that there was extrinsic
Manila, where he holds office at S-304 Gedisco Centre,
fraud because her husband deliberately hid the fact of the
1564 A. Mabini, Ermita, Manila.
foreclosure proceeding.
 Private respondent Rosita Dimalanta, who is the sister of
PRCB argued that the foreclosure proceeding is an action quasi petitioner filed an action for partition against former and her
in rem, hence Teresa’s participation is not required so long as husband. She alleged that, the plaintiff is of legal age, a
the court acquires jurisdiction over the res which is what widow and is at present a resident of 14823 Conway Road,
happened in the case at bar; that Teresa cannot invoke extrinsic Chesterfield, Missouri, U.S.A., while the defendants are
fraud because such situation cannot occur in her case because spouses but, for purposes of this complaint may be served
she is a co-defendant of Ernesto. with summons at Gedisco Center, Unit 304, 1564 A. Mabini
St., Ermita, Manila where defendant Alfredo D. Valmonte as
ISSUE: Whether or not the judgment of the trial court should be defendant Lourdes Arreola Valmonte’s spouse holds office
annulled. and where he can be found.He husband was also her
HELD: Yes. It is admitted that the proceeding is a quasi in rem counsel, who has a law office in the Philippines. The
proceeding and that the presence of Teresa is not required summons were served on her husband.
because the trial court was able to acquire jurisdiction over the  Petitioner in a letter, referred private respondent’s counsel
res (mortgaged property). HOWEVER, her constitutional right to to her husband as the party to whom all communications
due process is superior over the procedural matters mentioned. intended for her should be sent. Service of summons was
Her right to due process was violated when she did not receive then made upon petitioner Alfredo at his office
summons. Teresa, as a resident defendant, who does not in Manila. Alfredo D. Valmonte accepted his summons, but
voluntary appear in court must be personally served with not the one for Lourdes, on the ground that he was not
summons as provided under Section 6, Rule 14 of the Rules of authorized to accept the process on her behalf. Accordingly
Court. Even if the action is quasi in rem, personal service of the process server left without leaving a copy of the
summons is essential in order to afford her due process. The summons and complaint for petitioner Lourdes A.
substituted service made by the sheriff at her husband’s office Valmonte.
cannot be deemed proper service absent any explanation that  Petitioner Alfredo D. Valmonte thereafter filed his Answer
efforts had been made to personally serve summons upon her with Counterclaim. Petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte,
but that such efforts failed. Further, the order of the trial court however, did not file her Answer. For this reason private
compelling Teresa to pay off the debt using her personal respondent moved to declare her in default. Petitioner
property is a judgment in personam which the court cannot do Alfredo D. Valmonte entered a special appearance in behalf
because it only acquired jurisdiction over the res and not over of his wife and opposed the private respondent’s motion.
the person of Teresa. RTC denied the MR of respondents. CA declared petitioner
Lourdes in default. Said decision was received by Alfredo
On the issue of extrinsic fraud, the Court of Appeals, agreeing hence this petition.
with PCRB, is correct that there is none in the case at bar.
Extrinsic fraud exists when there is a fraudulent act committed
by the prevailing party outside of the trial of the case, whereby ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte was
the defeated party was prevented from presenting fully his side validly served with summons. - NO.
of the case by fraud or deception practiced on him by
the prevailing party. Extrinsic fraud is present where RULING:
the unsuccessful party had been prevented from exhibiting fully There was no valid service of summons on Lourdes.
 The action herein is in the nature of an action quasi in residency in Singapore based on her passport in
rem. Such an action is essentially for the purpose of which two pages were withheld.
affecting the defendant’s interest in a specific property and
not to render a judgment against him. As petitioner Lourdes Issue:
A. Valmonte is a nonresident who is not found in the Whether there was valid substituted service.
Philippines, service of summons on her must be in Held:
accordance with Rule 14, § 17. Such service, to be effective No.
outside the Philippines, must be made either (1) by personal In actions strictly ‘in perosnam’jurisdiction over the person of the
service; (2) by publication in a newspaper of general defendant is mandatory and can be complied with valid service
circulation in such places and for such time as the court may of summons.
order, in which case a copy of the summons and order of If defendant cannot be served, for excusable reason, within a
the court should be sent by registered mail to the last known reasonable time, substituted service can be resorted to.
address of the defendant; or (3) in any other manner which It is extraordinary in character and a derogation of the usual
the court may deem sufficient. method of service thus rules for such must be faithfully complied
with.
 In the case at bar, the service of summons upon petitioner The requirements of valid substituted service if there is
Lourdes A. Valmonte was not done by means of any of the impossibility of prompt personal service which is 15-30 days for
first two modes. This mode of service, like the first two, the sheriff are:
must be made outside the Philippines, such as through the 1) By leaving copies of summons at defendant’s
Philippine Embassy in the foreign country where the residence with a person of suitable age and discretion
defendant resides. The service of summons on petitioner residing therein or by leaving copies at the defendant’s
Alfredo D. Valmonte was not made upon the order of the office or regular place of business with some
court as required by Rule 14, § 17 and certainly was not a competent person in charge.
mode deemed sufficient by the court which in fact refused 2) The sheriff must narrate in specific details how service
to consider the service to be valid and on that basis declare in person became impossible.
petitioner Lourdes A. Valmonte in default for her failure to 3) The attempt must be extraordinary and at least three
file an answer. times. The person of suitable age and discretion must
be at least 18 years old, able to read the summons
 Secondly, the service in the attempted manner on petitioner written in English, and must be with confidential relation
was not made upon prior leave of the trial court as required to defendant. A competent person in charge can be the
also in Rule 14, § 17. As provided in § 19, such leave must president or manager.
be applied for by motion in writing, supported by affidavit of
the plaintiff or some person on his behalf and setting forth The substituted service was invalid because the sheriff did not
the grounds for the application. comply with the requirements. Macky dela Cruz was not a
representative of Manotoc. Therefore, since there was no valid
 Finally, and most importantly, because there was no order service of summons, there was no jurisdiction acquired. The
granting such leave, petitioner Lourdes was not given RTC’s decision is null and void.
ample time to file her Answer which, according to the rules,
shall be not less than 60 days after notice. Reasonable time is defined as so much time as is
necessary under the circumstances for a reasonably
prudent and diligent man to do, conveniently, what the
contract or duty requires that should be done. . . Under the
3. Manotoc v. Court of Appeals
Rules, the service of summons has no set period. . .
499 SCRA 21
Facts:
a) To the plaintiff, “reasonable time” means no more than 7
Mrs. Agapita Trajano sought the enforcement of a foreign
days since an expeditious processing of the complaint is
judgment rendered by the US District Court of Hawaii against
what the party wants.
Ma. Imelda M. Manotoc (Imee Marcos) for the wrongful death of
b) To the sheriff “reasonable time means 15 to 30
Mr. Archimedes Trajano committed by military intelligence in the
days because at the end of the month, it is a practice for the
Philippines allegedly working for Manotoc.
branch clerk to require the sheriff to submit a return of the
The RTC issued summons for Manotoc addressed at Alexandra
summons assigned to the sheriff for service. The Sheriffs
Homes, Pasig. It was served on a Macky dela Cruz described
Return provides data to the clerk of court, which the clerk
as a caretaker of her unit. Manotoc failed to file her answer and
uses in the Monthly Report of Cases to be submitted to the
was declared in default.
Office of the Court Admin-istrator within the first ten (10)
On October 1993, manotoc filed a motion to dismiss on the
days of the succeeding month. Thus one month from the
ground of lack of jurisdiction over her person, stating that she is
issuance of summons can be considered “reasonable” with
not a resident of the said condo and that she does not hold office
regard to personal service on the defendant.”
there, as well as that Macky dela Cruz is not her representative
or employee. Thus no valid service was made. Further, she
The Court has set stringent conditions prior to the availment of
states that she is a resident of Singapore.
substituted service.
On October 1994, the RTC denied the motion. On December
1994, denied her MR for lack of merit.
Manotoc filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA
on January 1995, that was denied on March 1997, and the MR 4. ROBINSON v. MIRALLES
denied on April 1997. The CA ruled that: FACTS:
1) As per findings of the trial court, the residence of  Respondent Celita Miralles filed a complaint for collection
Manotoc was indeed at Alexandra Homes. of sum of money against petitioner Remelita Robinson,
2) The disembarkation/embarkation cord and alleging that $20,054 was borrowed by Robinson, as shown
certification were hearsay. It rejected a proof of her in the MOA they both executed.
 Summons was served on Robinson at her given address. defendant’s residence with some person of suitable
However, per return of service of the Sheriif, petitioner no age and discretion then residing therein; or (b) by
longer resides there. Thus, the trial court issued an alias leaving the copies at the defendant’s office or regular
summons to be served at Muntinlupa City, petitioner’s new place of business with some competent person in
address. charge thereof.
 Again, the Sheriff reported twice thereafter that the
summons could not be served on petitioner. Sheriff Under our procedural rules, personal service is generally
Pontente, who was to serve the summons interposed that preferred over substituted service, the latter mode of service
he was stopped by the Security Guard of Alabang Hills being a method extraordinary in character. For substituted
Village because they were allegedly told by Robinson service to be justified, the following circumstances must be
not to let anyone proceed to her house if she is not clearly established:
around. Despite the explanations of the Sheriff, the guards (a) personal service of summons within a reasonable time was
didn’t let him in. Thereafter, the Sheriff just left a copy of the impossible;
complaint to A.H. GEROCHE (THE SECURITY GUARD), (b) efforts were exerted to locate the party; and
who refused to affix his signature on the original copy, so (c) the summons was served upon a person of sufficient age and
he will be the one to give the summons to petitioner discretion residing at the party’s residence or upon a competent
Robinson. person in charge of the party’s office or place of business.
 Eventually, petitioner Robinson was declared in default for
her failure to file an answer seasonably despite service of Failure to do so would invalidate all subsequent proceedings on
summons. The trial court rendered its decision in favor of jurisdictional grounds.
Miralles ordering Robinson to pay her obligations plus cost
of damages. A copy of the court Order was sent to petitioner 5. Chu v. Mach Asia Trading Corporation, G.R. 184333, 01
by registered mail at her new address and a writ of April 2013.
execution was also issued
 Robinson filed a petition for relief from the judgment by
default. She claimed that summons was improperly served [PERALTA, J.]
upon her, thus, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction FACTS:
over her and that all its proceedings are void. Petitioner  Respondent Mach Asia Trading Corporation is a
Robinson contends that the service of the summons corporation engaged in importing dump trucks and heavy
upon the subdivision guard is not in compliance with equipments. Petitioner Sixto N. Chu purchased on
Section 7, Rule 14 since he is not related to her or installment one (1) Hitachi Excavator, one (1) motorgrader
staying at her residence, as required by the rule. and one (1) payloader. Petitioner made down payments
with the balance payable in 12 monthly installments through
ISSUE: whether the trial court correctly ruled that a substituted Land Bank postdated checks.
service of summons upon petitioner has been validly effected?
 However, upon presentment of the checks for encashment,
RULING:
they were dishonored by the bank either by reason of
 YES. Although the SC have ruled that the statutory “closed account,” “drawn against insufficient funds,” or
requirements of substituted service must be followed “payment stopped.”
strictly, faithfully, and fully and any substituted service other
than that authorized by the Rules is considered ineffective,
the Court frowns upon an overly strict application of the  Respondent filed a complaint before the Regional Trial
Rules. It is the spirit, rather than the letter of the procedural Court (RTC) of Cebu City for sum of money, replevin,
rules, that governs. attorney’s fees and damages against the petitioner.
 Obviously, it was impossible for the sheriff to effect personal
or substituted service of summons upon petitioner. We note RTC: issued an Order allowing the issuance of a writ of replevin
that she failed to controvert the sheriff’s declaration. Nor did on the subject heavy equipments. Sheriff Doroteo Cortes
she deny having received the summons through the proceeded at petitioner’s given address for the purpose of
security guard. Considering her strict instruction to the serving the summons, together with the complaint, writ of
security guard, she must bear its consequences. Thus, we replevin and bond. However, the Sheriff failed to serve the
agree with the trial court that summons has been summons personally upon the petitioner, since the latter was not
properly served upon petitioner and that it has acquired there. The Sheriff then resorted to substituted service by having
jurisdiction over her. the summons and the complaint received by a certain Rolando
 Where the action is in personam and the defendant is in the Bonayon, a security guard of the petitioner. Petitioner failed to
Philippines, the service of summons may be made through file any responsive pleading. Upon motion the RTC issued an
personal or substituted service in the manner provided for Order declaring defendant in default and, thereafter, allowed
in Sections 6 and 7, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of respondent to present its evidence ex parte. The RTC rendered
Procedure, as amended. a decision against the petitioner. On appeal, the CA affirmed the
RTC Decision.
SEC. 6. Service in person on defendant. – Whenever
practicable, the summons shall be served by handing ISSUE:
a copy thereof to the defendant in person, or if he Was the substituted service of summons to the security guard
refuses to receive and sign for it, by tendering it to him. considered to be a valid as to acquire jurisdiction over the person
of petitioner Chu?
SEC. 7. Substituted service. – If, for justifiable causes,
the defendant cannot be served within a reasonable
time as provided in the preceding section, service may HELD: NO.
be effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the
As a rule, summons should be personally served on the (3) consecutive weeks and at the same time furnishing
defendant. It is only when summons cannot be served Margarita a copy of the order, as well as the corresponding
personally within a reasonable period of time that substituted summons and a copy of the petition at her address in the
service may be resorted to. Section 7, Rule 14 of the Rules of United States through the Department of Foreign Affairs, all
Court provides: at the expense of Abelardo.
 Margarita was given sixty (60) days after publication to file
“SEC. 7. Substituted service. – If, for justifiable causes, the a responsive pleading.
defendant cannot be served within a reasonable time as  An Officer’s return was duly submitted declaring the
provided in the preceding section, service may be effected (a) completion of the service of summons. Finally, the marriage
by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant’s residence was declared void through Article 36 Family Code by the
with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing RTC on November 8, 1991.
therein, or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant’s office or  Margarita appeared before the Consulate Office in San
regular place of business with some competent person in charge Francisco to sign the agreement on separation of property.
thereof.” Abelardo allegedly threatened to cut off all financial and
material support to their children if Margarita did not sign the
documents.
It is to be noted that in case of substituted service, there should  Almost 9 years later, Margarita received a letter dated
be a report indicating that the person who received the November 18, 1991 from a certain Atty. Angelo Q. Valencia
summons in the defendant’s behalf was one with whom the informing her that she no longer has the right to use the
defendant had a relation of confidence, ensuring that the latter family name "Licaros" inasmuch as her marriage to
would actually receive the summon. Clearly, it was not shown Abelardo had already been judicially dissolved by the
that the security guard who received the summons in behalf of Regional Trial Court of Makati on November 8, 1991.
the petitioner was authorized and possessed a relation of  Margarita filed a petition for review on certiorari, insisting
confidence that petitioner would definitely receive the summons. that the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over her
This is not the kind of service contemplated by law. Thus, service person in the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
on the security guard could not be considered as substantial since she was never validly served with summons. Neither
compliance with the requirements of substituted service. The did she appear in court to submit voluntarily to its
service of summons is a vital and indispensable ingredient of jurisdiction.
due process. As a rule, if defendants have not been validly
summoned, the court acquires no jurisdiction over their person,
and a judgment rendered against them is null and void. Since Issue:
the RTC never acquired jurisdiction over the person of the WON Margarita was validly served with summons in the case
petitioner, the judgment rendered by the court could not be for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Abelardo? YES
considered binding upon him for being null and void.
WON there was extrinsic fraud in the preparation and filing by
6. Romualdez-Licaros vs. Licaros Case Digest Abelardo of the Petition for Dissolution of the Conjugal
Partnership of Gains and its annex, the Agreement of
Extraterritorial service of summons may be effected by any Separation of Properties? NO
other means the judge may consider sufficient. Summons
by publication and at the same time furnishing respondent Held:
with a copy of the Order as well as the corresponding
Summons and a copy of the petition for declaration of Summons is a writ by which the defendant is notified of the
nullity of marriage at her given address in the US thru the action brought against him. Service of such writ is the means by
Department of Affairs held valid. In actions in rem and quasi which the court acquires jurisdiction over his person.
in rem, jurisdiction over the person of the non-resident
defendant is not essential provided that the court acquired As a rule, when the defendant does not reside and is not found
jurisdiction over the res. in the Philippines, Philippine courts cannot try any case against
him because of the impossibility of acquiring jurisdiction over his
********* person unless he voluntarily appears in court. But when the case
is one of actions in rem or quasi in rem enumerated in Section
Facts: 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, Philippine courts have
 Abelardo Licaros and Margarita Romualdez-Licaros were jurisdiction to hear and decide the case. In such instances,
lawfully married in 1968. Sometime in 1979, they agreed to Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the res, and jurisdiction
separate due to marital differences. over the person of the non-resident defendant is not essential.
 Margarita together with her two children left for the United
States. She filed with the courts of California a petition to Actions in personam and actions in rem or quasi in rem differ in
divorce her husband, and it was granted. that actions in personam are directed against specific persons
 Abelardo and Margarita executed an “Agreement of and seek personal judgments. On the other hand, actions in
Separation of Properties”, which was duly granted by the rem or quasi in rem are directed against the thing or property
RTC Makati. or status of a person and seek judgments with respect thereto
as against the whole world.
 In 1991, Abelardo commenced a civil case for the
declaration of nullity of his marriage with Margarita, based
At the time Abelardo filed the petition for nullity of the marriage
on psychological incapacity.
in 1991, Margarita was residing in the United States. She left the
 As Margarita was in the US, Abelardo initially moved that
Philippines in 1982 together with her two children. The trial court
summons be served through the International Express
considered Margarita a non-resident defendant who is not found
Courier Service. The court a quo denied the motion.
in the Philippines. Since the petition affects the personal status
Instead, it ordered that summons be served by publication
of the plaintiff, the trial court authorized extraterritorial service of
in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three
summons under Section 15, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. The
term "personal status" includes family relations, particularly the After having known the decision, Phua filed in November 1995
relations between husband and wife. a petition for Annulment of Judgement before the appellate court
raising the issue of the validity of the service of summons by
Under Section 15 of Rule 14, a defendant who is a non-resident publication. The Court of Appeals granted Phua‘s petition.
and is not found in the country may be served with summons by
extraterritorial service in four instances: (1) when the action ISSUE:
affects the personal status of the plaintiff; (2) when the action
relates to, or the subject of which is property within the
Philippines, in which the defendant has or claims a lien or Whether or not the CA erred in granting Phua‘s petition on the
interest, actual or contingent; (3) when the relief demanded invalidity of the service of summons by publication
consists, wholly or in part, in excluding the defendant from any
interest in property located in the Philippines; or (4) when the HELD:
property of the defendant has been attached within the
Philippines. Summons by publication was correctly availed by the Heirs of
Pacaña since Phua‘s whereabouts were unknown and could not
In these instances, extraterritorial service of summons may be be ascertained by diligent inquiry. However, the motion to be
effectedunder any of three modes: (1) by personal service out of allowed to serve summons by publication requires a supporting
the country, with leave of court; (2) by publication and sending a “affidavit of the plaintiff or some person on his behalf setting forth
copy of the summons and order of the court by registered mail the grounds for the application.” The Heirs of Pacaña failed to
to the defendant’s last known address, also with leave of court; comply with the Rules as the “Motion for Service of Summons
or (3) by any other means the judge may consider sufficient. by Publications” filed by their counsel as it bears no supporting
affidavit. The trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the
The trial court’s prescribed mode of extraterritorial service person of Phua and as a consequence the court could not
(service by publication and furnishing her with a copy of the render a valid judgement against him because the summons
Order, Summons and a copy of the petition at her address in intended for him were invalid.
California thru the Department of Foreign Affairs) does not fall
under the first or second mode specified in Section 15 of Rule
14, but under the third mode. This refers to "any other means Modes of service of summons must be strictly followed in order
that the judge may consider sufficient." that the court may acquire jurisdiction over the person of
the defendant. The purpose of which is to afford
We hold that delivery to the Department of Foreign Affairs was the defendant the opportunity to be heardon the claim against
sufficient compliance with the rule. After all, this is exactly what him.
the trial court required and considered as sufficient to effect
service of summons under the third mode of extraterritorial EB Villarosa & Partners Co., Ltd. v. Benito
service pursuant to Section 15 of Rule 14. Facts:
 Petitioner is a limited partnership with principal office
address at Davao City and with branch offices at
Parañaque, MM and Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City.
7. LAGRIMAS PACAÑA-GONZALEZ v. COURT  Petitioner and private respondent executed a Deed of
OF APPEALS Sale with Development Agreement wherein the former
and MANUEL CARBONELL PHUA agreed to develop certain parcels of land located at
Cagayan de Oro belonging to the latter into a housing
subdivision for the construction of low cost housing units.
449 SCRA 196 (2005), THIRD DIVISION
They further agreed that in case of litigation regarding any
dispute arising therefrom, the venue shall be in the proper
Spouses Amarillo were the registered owners of a lot which is courts of Makati.
the subject of the dispute of this case.  Private respondent, as plaintiff, filed a Complaint for Breach
Spouses Amarillo conveyed such land to Manuel Carbonell of Contract and Damages against petitioner, as defendant,
cancelling the title of the former and in its place TCT No. 62176 before the RTC Makati for failure of the latter to comply with
which was issued in the name of Phua. its contractual obligation in that, other than a few
More than a decade later, the Heirs of Josefa Gacho Pacaña unfinished low cost houses, there were no substantial
filed before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu a Complaint developments therein.
for Declaration of Nullity of Title and Annulment of the Deed of  Summons, together with the complaint, were served
Sale covering the subject lot against the Amarillo Spouses and upon the defendant, through its Branch Manager at the
Phua. The summons together with the copy of the complaint was stated address at Cagayan de Oro City but the Sheriff's
served to the Amarillo Spouses but not to Phua who was Return of Service stated that the summons was duly served
unknown at his given address at Salinas Compound, Salinas "upon defendant E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd. thru its
Drive, Lahug, Cebu City. The service of summons were effected Branch Manager Engr. at their new office Villa Gonzalo,
by postal service but such failed, the Heirs of Pacaña filed a Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City, and evidenced by the
motion to effect service of summons by publication which motion signature on the face of the original copy of the summons.
was granted. The summons and copy of the complaints were  Defendant prayed for the dismissal of the complaint on the
published once a week for three consecutive weeks in the ground of improper service of summons and for lack of
Visayan Herald. jurisdiction over the person of the defendant. It contends
that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over its person
The trial court declared Phua in default for not answering within since the summons was improperly served upon its
the reglamentary period, the Heirs of Pacaña were allowed to employee in its branch office at Cagayan de Oro City who
present their evidence. On April 3, 1991, the trial court is not one of those persons named in Section 11, Rule 14
rendered judgement in favor of the plaintiff Heirs of Pacaña. RoC upon whom service of summons may be
made. plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion to principal loan in the amount of P490,000.00. Later on, the
Dismiss. same property secured another loan obligation in the
 Plaintiff filed a Motion to Declare Defendant in Default. the amount of P1,504,280.00
trial court issued an Order denying defendant's Motion to  Centrogen incurred default and therefore the loan obligation
Dismiss as well as plaintiffs Motion to Declare Defendant in became due and demandable
Default. defendant, filed a Motion for Reconsideration  Meanwhile, FEBTC merged with the BPI with the latter as
alleging that Sec.11, Rule 14 of the new Rules did not the surviving corporation. As a result, BPI assumed all the
liberalize but, on the contrary, restricted the service of rights, privileges and obligations of FEBTC
summons on persons enumerated therein; and that the new  BPI filed an Extra-Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate
provision is very specific and clear in that the word Mortgage over the subject property. In order to validly effect
"manager" was changed to "general manager", "secretary" the foreclosure, a Notice of Sale was issued by the
to "corporate secretary", and excluding therefrom agent and Provincial Sheriff AND On the same day, the Spouses
director. Santiago were served with the copy of the Notice of Sale
 Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration was denied, hence  Upon receipt of the Notice of Sale, the Spouses Santiago
this petition. and Centrogen filed a Complaint seeking the issuance of a
TRO and Preliminary and Final Injunction and in the
Issue: Whether or not the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the alternative, for the annulment of the Real Estate Mortgage
person of petitioner upon service of summons on its Branch with BPI
Manager – NO.  The complaint alleged that the initial loan
obligation including interest thereon was fully paid as
RULING: evidenced by A Union Bank Check in the amount
 NO. The court agrees with the contention of Villarosa. ofP648,521.51 with BPI as payee
Earlier cases have uphold service of summons upon a  The Spouses Santiago and Centrogen asseverated that the
construction project manager; a corporation's assistant original loan agreement was for the amount of Five Million
manager; ordinary clerk of a corporation; private secretary Pesos. However, only Two Million Pesos was released.
of corporate executives; retained counsel; officials who had FEBTC, in gross violation of the agreement, did not release
charge or control of the operations of the corporation, like the balance of Three Million Pesos. As a result, the
the assistant general manager; or the corporation's squalene project failed and the company groped for funds
Chief Finance and Administrative Office. In these cases, to pay its loan obligations
these persons were considered as "agent" within the  On 27 February 2003, BPI was summoned to file and serve
contemplation of the old rule.”“ its Answer to the Complaint filed by Spouses Santiago and
 Notably, under the new Rules, service of summons upon an Centrogen. On the same day, the Sheriff served a copy of
AGENT of the corporation is NO LONGER authorized.”“The the summons to the Branch Manager of BPI Sta. Cruz,
designation of persons or officers who are authorized to Laguna Branch
accept summons for a domestic corporation or partnership  Instead of filing an Answer, BPI filed a Motion to Dismiss the
is now limited and more clearly specified in complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the
Section11, Rule 14. The rule now states "general manag person of the defendant and other procedural infirmities
er" instead of only "manager"; "corporate secretary" attendant to the filing of the complaint. In its Motion to
instead of "secretary"; and "treasurer" instead of "cashier." Dismiss, BPI claimed that the Branch Manager of its Sta.
The phrase “agent, or any of its directors" is conspicuously Cruz, Laguna Branch, was not one of those authorized by
deleted in the new rule.”“A strict compliance with the mode Section 11, Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court to receive
of service is necessary to confer jurisdiction of the court summons on behalf of the corporation. The summons
over a corporation. The officer upon whom service is made served upon its Branch Manager, therefore, did not bind the
must be one who is named in the statute; otherwise the corporation.
service is insufficient. . . The liberal construction rule cannot
be invoked and utilized as a substitute for the plain legal
requirements as to the manner in which summons should ISSUE: WON RTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of BPI
be served on a domestic corporation. .” When the original summons was served upon the Branch
Manager of its Sta. Cruz, Laguna Branch.
BPI vs. SPS SANTIAGO G.R. No. 169116 March 28, 2007
Jurisdiction, Service of Summons
RULING:
FACTS:
 Basic is the rule that a strict compliance with the mode of
service is necessary to confer jurisdiction of the court over
 Petitioner BPI is a banking institution duly organized and a corporation. The officer upon whom service is made must
existing as such under the Philippine laws be one who is named in the statute; otherwise, the service
 Private respondent Centrogen, Inc. (Centrogen) is a is insufficient. The purpose is to render it reasonably certain
domestic corporation engaged in pharmaceutical business, that the corporation will receive prompt and proper notice in
represented in this act by its President, Edwin Santiago, son an action against it or to insure that the summons be served
of private respondents Spouses Ireneo M. Santiago and on a representative so integrated with the corporation that
Liwanag P. Santiago such person will know what to do with the legal papers
 On several occasions, private respondent Centrogen served on him
obtained loans from Far East Bank and Trust Company  Applying the aforestated principle in the case at bar, we rule
(FEBTC) in different amounts, the total of which reached the that the service of summons on BPI’s Branch Manager did
sum P4,650,000.00, as evidenced by promissory notes not bind the corporation for the branch manager is not
executed by Edwin Santiago included in the enumeration of the statute of the persons
 As a security for a fraction of the loan obligation, Ireneo upon whom service of summons can be validly made in
Santiago executed a Real Estate Mortgage over a parcel of behalf of the corporation. Such service is therefore void and
land registered under his name. The mortgage secured the ineffectual
 However, upon the issuance and the proper service of substantial justice must take precedence over technicality
new summons on 11 March 2003, before the Writ of and thus stated
Preliminary Injunction was issued on 20 March  The ultimate test on the validity and sufficiency on service
2003, whatever defect attended the service of the of summons is whether the same and the attachments
original summons, was promptly and accordingly thereto where ultimately received by the corporation under
cured such circumstances that no undue prejudice is sustained by
 It bears stressing, that on 7 March 2003, the Branch Clerk it from the procedural lapse and it was afforded full
of Court issued a new summons which was properly served opportunity to present its responsive pleadings. This is but
upon BPI’s Corporate Secretary on 11 March 2003, as in accord with the entrenched rule that the ends of
evidenced by the Sheriff’s Return substantial justice should not be subordinated to
 The subsequent service of summons was neither disputed technicalities and, for which purpose, each case should be
nor was it mentioned by BPI except in a fleeting narration of examined within the factual milieu peculiar to it.
facts and therefore enjoys the presumption that official duty
has been regularly performed. The Process Server’s
Certificate of Service of Summons is a prima facie evidence
of facts set out in that certificate
 Inarguably, before the Order granting the application for
Writ of Preliminary Injunction was issued, the RTC already
acquired jurisdiction over the person of BPI by virtue of the
new summons validly served on the Corporate Secretary.
The fact that the original summons was invalidly served is
of no moment since jurisdiction over BPI was subsequently
acquired by the service of a new summons
 In the case of The Philippine American Life and General
Insurance Company v. Brevea, we ruled
A case should not be dismissed simply because an
original summons was wrongfully served. It should be
difficult to conceive, for example, that when a defendant
personally appears before a Court complaining that he had
not been validly summoned, that the case against him
should be dismissed. An alias summons can be actually
served on said defendant.

It is not pertinent whether the summons is designated


as an “original” or an “alias” summons as long as it has
adequately served its purpose. What is essential is that
the summons complies with the requirements under
the Rules of Court and it has been duly served on the
defendant together with the prevailing complaint. x x x
Moreover, the second summons was technically not an
alias summons but more of a new summons on the
amended complaint. It was not a continuation of the first
summons considering that it particularly referred to the
amended complaint and not to the original complaint.

 BPI’s lamentation, at every turn, on the invalidity of the


service of summons made on the Branch Manager and its
deliberate neglect to acknowledge the fact that a new
summons was accordingly served on its Corporate
Secretary, is an attempt in futility to mislead this Court into
believing that the court a quo never acquired jurisdiction
over the case and thus the issuance of the Writ of
Preliminary Injunction was invalid
 We are not drawn into petitioner’s sophistry
 In the case of G&G Trading Corporation v. Court of
Appeals,this Court made the following pronouncements:

Although it may be true that the service of summons was


made on a person not authorized to receive the same in
behalf of the petitioner, nevertheless since it appears that
the summons and complaint were in fact received by the
corporation through its said clerk, the Court finds that there
was substantial compliance with the rule on service of
summons. The need for speedy justice must prevail over a
technicality.
 In explaining the test on the validity of service of
summons, Justice Florenz Regalado stressed that